Big news candy fans, your favorite sweet treats will soon be artificial ingredient-less. Yup, that’s right, Nestlé, one of the largest US candy manufacturers, announced that by the end of 2015 it will remove all artificial ingredients from its chocolate bars, with a promise to keep prices the same. This makes it the first major US candy manufacturer to make this type of commitment. Nestlé has actually already made this move in the UK where it went artificial-free in 2012. Now three years later. it’s finally bringing its all natural goodness to the US. It’s about time.
While tiny in comparison to some other major US candy manufacturers (Nestlé holds about 5% of the market while Mars and Hershey combined make up 65%), this change reflects changes in consumer demand and a change in food culture overall. Based on a Nielson survey, more than 60% of Americans found not having artificial ingredients and colors an important trait to consider when buying food. Nestlé’s announcement offers a significant promise that might spark similar decisions in other companies.
Typically artificial ingredients are used to enhance color or flavor. Widely used artificial colors Red 40 and Yellow 5, for example, are currently found in Butterfingers and give that weirdly orange color to the middle of the candy. Scientific studies have shown, although with mixed conclusions, that artificial colors can lead to hyperactivity in kids, especially those with ADHD. In my opinion it’s also just nice to eat food that has the color of the ingredients that makes it up. Nowadays its difficult to figure out what you’re putting in your mouth half the time and often times artificial flavors can prevent us from experiencing the real thing and convince us that certain foods taste a particular way when in reality they don’t.
The real question is, will the candy taste the same? Nestlé states that it will maintain the taste and quality of its products above all else, but I guess the real test is trying them when these new candy bars are out. Either way it’s probably a good idea to get accustomed to how non-artificial foods taste and actually know what goes into the foods you’re eating.
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